10. Voluntary Leaving

Mietz v UIA – 10.107

Mietz v UIA
Digest no. 10.107

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Mietz v UIA, Unpublished Opinion of the Bay County Circuit Court, Issued July 13, 2009 (Docket No. 09-3137-AEKS).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Becky Mietz
Employer: N/A
Docket no.: 09-3137-AEKS
Date of decision: July 13, 2009

View/download the full decision

HOLDING: Claimant’s voluntary leaving was with good cause attributable to the Employer when Employer increases Claimant’s workload up to 50-100% at times and the nature of her job was stressful enough that a reasonably average and otherwise qualified worker would have given up her employment.

FACTS: Claimant was employed Michigan Department of Human Service beginning in July 2006. She worked as a protective service worker and the job was extremely stressful, manifesting itself in physical and mental symptoms including loss of sleep and concentration. At times, the caseload fluctuated 50 to 100% increases from her normal workload. She attempted to transfer to a different job and was denied.

Claimant quit and applied for unemployment benefits in March 2008. UIA issued a redetermination denying benefits, and found that Claimant was disqualified under 29(1)(a), that she quit voluntarily with no good cause. Claimant appealed, and the ALJ affirmed the UIA redetermination. Upon appeal, the Board of Review also affirmed the decision under 29(1)(a), and Claimant appealed to the Circuit Court.

DECISION: The Circuit Court overruled the Board of Review decision as it was “not supported by competent, material, and substantial evidence on the whole record.”

RATIONALE: Under Section 29(1)(a), the standard of whether a voluntary leaving was with good cause attributable to the employer is that of a reasonable individual. Accordingly, if an “employer’s actions would cause a reasonable, average, and otherwise qualified worker to give up his or her employment,” this constitutes good cause. Here, the Circuit Court found that since Claimant worked in a position where she was responsible for investigating child abuse and protecting children, and her workload had been increased by 50-100% by a unilateral decision of her employer, a reasonable person would have given up her employment.

Digest author: Nick Phillips
Digest updated: 8/14